This is the longest loop in the Victoria Lake area of trails. Ride through pine forest as well as canyons with tranquil streams and striking rock walls. 92% of this trail is dirt singletrack. There is a 1.2-mile climb up a dirt doubletrack jeep trail at the halfway point. The trail is made up of some definite grinders that are well interspersed with flowy singletrack joy. Also some downhill sections to challenge intermediate downhillers.
Getting There: From Rapid City, SD travel south on Sheridan Lake Road/Old State Highway 40 (paved road) for 8 miles until you reach Victoria Lake Road (a well-maintained gravel road).
There are no signs identifying the start off the trail and, in general, there are very minimal markers along the trail. Use the MTB Project mobile app
Parking: You can park at the Victoria Lake Road parking areas and ride the Victoria Lake Road Parking Area Connector
to Loop 15. You can also connect to Loop 15 via the Reder Ranch Connector
which starts 1.7 miles further down Sheridan Lake Road/Highway 40.
To get to Loop 15 from Victoria Lake Road take the Victoria Lake Road Parking Area Connector
From the parking area, travel through the boulders 20 yards on a doubletrack then take the unmarked singletrack that branches left into the trees (this is the start of the connector trail). Follow a short ravine down to a long narrow meadow. At the end of the meadow, the connector trail from the parking lot meets with the Victoria Lake Loop 15 trail.
Turn right to ride Loop 15 counter clockwise. You start off riding down a canyon on winding dirt singletrack (this can be muddy in the spring) through a mix of pine and deciduous trees. Cross a creek and then cross 1st Thunder Road and start a steep and sometimes rocky 0.5-mile climb (this section overlaps with the Victoria's Secret loop).
Loop 15 is most often ridden counter clockwise as many riders consider counter clockwise to be the most fun. However, if you are wanting to switch things up it is definitely doable clockwise. When riding clockwise locals say they are riding "Pool 51" (Loop 15 spelled backwards).
If you use the Reder Ranch Connector
to access Loop 15 riding counter clockwise, you start with a lot of really great down hill. If you start Loop 15 from the Victoria Lake Road Parking Area Connector
riding counter clockwise you get to finish on all that great downhill which is nice after that long ride.